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  • Writer's pictureTommy Centola

More than one way to cook a crawfish

It’s that time of year again, crawfish season. I think the best way to eat crawfish, is right out of the boiling pot surrounded by friends. Lately I have been talking to new friends to see if they are ready to take the plunge and eat some boiled mudbugs. I seem to get the same response. It’s a lot of work to peel them and I don’t like them looking at me. Then I ask do they like the crawfish tails. Most say yes.

With that in mind, it’s time for my annual recipe sharing for crawfish cooked other ways than just boiled. With a versatile protein like crawfish, the sky is the limit in the way you can use them. Today, I have chosen two different preparations. The first is a great addition to any breakfast or brunch menu, Crawfish Hash. The second is a version of surf and turf, Crawfish Stuffed Chicken.  I have also included an optional sauce for the chicken, Creolaise sauce. So grab you crawfish and Let’s head to the kitchen!

Crawfish Hash

Here is an excellent way to add crawfish to your breakfast. By replacing the corned beef with crawfish, you will have a healthier dish. I can see the billboards with the cows on them now, Eat Mor Crawfish.

3 tablespoons canola oil, divided

1 pound crawfish tails

Creole seasoning

1 tablespoon butter

2 pounds potatoes, cut into 1/2-dice

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Add 2 tablespoons oil to a skillet set over medium-high heat; add crawfish tails, season with Creole seasonings and cook until steaming and heated through, about 8 minutes. Set aside.

Add remaining tablespoon oil plus butter and potatoes to another skillet set over medium-high heat; sauté until softened and lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and Creole seasoning. Add reserved crawfish tails; cook for an additional 5 minutes., until potatoes are crispy. Add cheese and cook until melted, about 3 minutes. Serve hot.

Crawfish Stuffed Chicken

If you are looking for a way to elevate chicken, look no further. Using the spinach in the stuffing creates a light dish. If you want to keep it a light dish, don’t top it with Creolaise sauce.

4 boneless skinless chicken breast

Creole seasoning to taste

1/4 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme

1 cup lightly packed fresh spinach leaves

1 cup Louisiana crawfish tails, chopped

1 tablespoon blackening seasoning

1 tablespoon olive oil

Creolaise sauce

Preheat oven to 350℉.

Place chicken between 2 layers of plastic wrap; pound with a meat mallet to 1/4-inch thick. Season each breast with Creole seasoning, and fresh chopped thyme. Layer half the spinach leaves over the breasts. Evenly spoon the crawfish in a horizontal row across middle of each breast. Evenly top with remaining spinach leaves. Beginning with the short edge, roll stuffed chicken pieces over filling and secure with wooden picks. Evenly sprinkle chicken with blackening seasoning on bottom and top.

Heat olive oil in an oven-proof skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium heat; add rolled chicken. Sear chicken well on all sides. Transfer skillet to oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove wooden picks and transfer cooked chicken rolls to a platter. Slice chicken, if desired, and spoon Creolaise sauce over top.

Creolaise Sauce

2 egg yolks

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon water

1 stick butter

1 tablespoon Creole mustard

In a glass or metal bowl over a pot of simmering water, whisk yolks, lemon juice, cayenne and water until pale yellow and slightly thickened. Remove from pot and whisk in butter, one tablespoon at a time, until blended. Whisk in mustard.

Always remember. If you don’t like crawfish, you can always substitute shrimp. Just make sure that they are cooked. If you haven’t tried crawfish, what are you waiting for. As long as you don’t have to peel them or have them looking at you, I think you will enjoy your meal.

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